Personal Finance By Peggy Chan 247 Views

Regions Continue to Shift Towards CBD Legalization With Growing List of Medical Applications

NEW YORK, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ -- The proliferation of cannabidiol, or CBD-based products, has exploded after U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill in December 2018. Now, CBD products are appearing at supermarkets, health and wellness stores, smoke shops, coffee shops, and farmer's markets around the country. Due to the rapid emergence of the industry, CBD products have expanded outwards from traditional oils and tinctures to shampoos, bath bombs, pet treats, and gummy bears. However, CBD still remains in a grey area due to its classifications as a cannabis derivative. On the other hand, CBD doesn't cause any psychoactive effects like its THC counterpart, which is why CBD regulations are much more lenient than those focused on THC. CBD is primarily marketed as a health and therapeutic product, which ultimately led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug to treat epilepsy, as well as other CBD synthetic compounds. The biggest barrier to the CBD market is currently the lack of clinical trials and research. Regardless, studies conducted by medical institutions have already added enough credibility to CBD to cause a string of countries to legalize medical cannabis applications. The CBD industry has already made significant milestones within the past year and is expected to continually grow as research continues to develop. According to data compiled by Brightfield Group, the U.S. hemp CBD market is projected to reach USD 22 Billion by 2022, outpacing the rest of the cannabis market combined. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC: PBIO), Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA), Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC: EMHTF) (TSXV: EMH)

The FDA has only approved Epidiolex for the treatment of epilepsy, however, studies have suggested that CBD is also effective in suppressing symptoms associated with cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, anxiety, depression, and many other medical conditions. CBD-based products are very versatile since they can potentially treat many conditions in different medical fields. Additionally, CBD requires a lower dosage and less frequent use when compared to traditional, medically-prescribed treatments such as opioids. Studies have shown that cannabis, in general, has significantly fewer side effects when compared to regulated and approved treatments within the market already. However, the FDA still requires much more research in order to approve or even possibly list cannabis-based medical treatments as a registered medicine. Regardless of the FDA's decision, the market has already moved forward without the administration. "Literally overnight, you're seeing CBD all around you and in everything," said Troy Dayton, Chief Executive Officer of The ArcView Group, an Oakland, California-based cannabis investment and research firm. "This is a product that is going from relative obscurity to being on everyone's mind: producers, consumers and especially entrepreneurs."

Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) just announced breaking CBD news that the company, "released a new, short video demonstrating the ability of the Company's proprietary Ultra Shear Technology (UST™) platform to create water-soluble CBD Oil that dissolves instantly, resulting in improved dosing effectiveness, enhanced absorption, and more aesthetically-pleasing products when added to carbonated soft drinks, vitamin-infused sports drinks, and beer. 

Link to video: https://youtu.be/gAqFQmsGHcA

In addition to superior aesthetic quality, the Company believes the resulting low nanometer-scale emulsions ("nanoemulsions") of UST-processed CBD Oil will also result in optimized and reproducible bodily absorption, bioavailability, and dosing safety for CBD oil and other UST-processed materials, when compared to many of the processed CBD oils and products that are commercially available today.

Mr. Edgar Ward, President and CEO of NutraLife Biosciences (OTCQB: NLBS), said: "NutraLife manufactures and sells NUTRAHEMPCBD, a line of CBD-infused products that includes creams, sprays, and other products that support daily health and wellness uses.  We strive to ensure that our CBD-infused products will always be of the highest quality possible; therefore, we are constantly looking for advanced technologies to continue to improve our manufacturing processes.  After reviewing available data and PBI's videos, we believe methods like PBI's UST platform may enable us to offer products with superior quality and effectiveness."

CBD is a non-psychoactive, oil-soluble compound extracted from the cannabis plant, and is typically marketed dissolved in plant oil.  It has been widely reported to offer numerous health benefits from stress and anxiety relief, to decreased muscle, joint, cancer and other pain, reduced inflammation, and to nearly miraculous relief of persistent seizures. However, because CBD is an oil-based product, its ingestion typically results in poor absorption in water-based living systems.  There has been enormous interest in the development of truly water-soluble CBD, to achieve efficient absorption and bioavailability from foods and beverages. The market for CBD beverages alone could achieve revenue of $260 million in just the U.S. by 2022 (Bloomberg, September 27, 2018) and much more world-wide. Unfortunately, because of solubility issues, many CBD products on the market today contain an inefficient over-abundance of CBD and/or undesirable chemicals to improve and stabilize its solubility in water. PBI believes that all of these beverages and other CBD-based products could substantially benefit from PBI's Ultra Shear Technology platform, to achieve water solubility and stability from the physics of high-pressure shearing – rather than from dependency upon chemistry and reliance upon use of undesirable chemicals.

Dr. Brad Young, Chief Commercial Officer of PBI, commented: "We are very pleased to now show (in this follow-up video) the ability of our proprietary UST platform to mix CBD oil in water and infuse carbonated soft drinks, vitamin-infused sport drinks, and beer. This latest video further highlights the power of our UST platform to make nanoemulsions and its potential to help nutraceutical and beverage manufacturers make high-quality, oil-based products.  With such compelling results to rely on, and with numerous opportunities ahead of us, we intend to accelerate the development of our UST platform to better address what we believe are several multi-billion-dollar markets in nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and food & beverages."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Pressure BioSciences, Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWUGPEjZlY

Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol wellness products. Recently, Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc. surpassed 3,000 retail locations across the United States. At the end of 2017, Charlotte's Web products were sold in approximately 2,000 locations. The Company had recently that it surpassed its 2018 year-end goal of 3,000 locations during the 3rd quarter. With CBD gaining mainstream market momentum, Charlotte's Web, the industry pioneer and category leader in hemp-based CBD, has expanded its suite of product offerings across a wider variety of retailers, from small specialty health food stores to now including regional pharmacy and grocery chains. The Company recently added more than 40 Bartell drug stores in the North West. "Firstly, I would like to commend our incredible and committed staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone," stated Charlotte's Web Chief Executive Officer Hess Moallem. "I would also like to thank our dedicated retail partners for their continued support of our mission and for valuing the trust that is closely associated with our brand name."

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it had completed its initial commercial production lots and is now shipping cannabis extracts from its licensed, GPP facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec. After receiving its standard processing license from Health Canada on January 4, 2019, Neptune completed required testing and commissioning of its Phase 1 (CO2-based) extraction installation, after which it produced its first lots of cannabis extract. Upon successful analysis and testing, the products are now being shipped and invoiced. "The quality of the extracts in Neptune's first production runs at our state-of-the-art facility has been terrific, and we are proud to begin deliveries. This marks an important step forward in the execution of our vision to lever our decades of extraction and wellness industry experience towards becoming the world's leader in the extraction, purification and formulation of value-added, differentiated cannabis products," said Jim Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) develops and markets high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that help meet consumer demand for a healthier diet. Building on the recent launch of Arcadia Specialty Genomics™, a new cannabis-dedicated division of the agricultural food ingredient company, Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. recently announced that it has been granted an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program License by Hawaii's Department of Agriculture. The license allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaii for the purposes of agricultural and academic research. Hemp and hemp products produced under the program may be commercially sold. With this license, Hawaii becomes the first state where Arcadia Specialty Genomics will commence its research and cultivation of hemp, planting on ten acres of recently-leased land next month. The unveiling of Arcadia Specialty Genomics' mapped out a research focus on the development of novel cannabis varieties possessing productivity, pest resistance and crop quality traits for licensed cultivators, and as products such as hemp-derived CBD oils for the nutraceutical and food industries. The announcement of this industrial hemp license and upcoming cultivation facility in Hawaii underscores Arcadia's commitment to rapidly transition its expertise as a leading science-driven company and genetics innovator in food crops into federal and state legal cannabis markets. "Industrial hemp, along with all strains of cannabis, are decades behind other agricultural crops in terms of improved plant genetics. With the explosive market growth projected in the industrial hemp and derivative markets, growers will need the very best hemp strains to meet demand, minimize waste, and ensure consistent quality. As the only company working in the cannabis industry with proven track record of improving plants and commercializing food ingredients from agricultural products using non-GM techniques, we're ideally positioned to help hemp growers and end-users benefit from better hemp strains," said Matt Plavan, CFO of Arcadia Biosciences and President of Arcadia Specialty Genomics. "Being licensed by the State of Hawaii to participate in this highly selective program gives us an important head start and we're moving quickly to establish our Hawaii research program immediately as we pursue expansion through licenses in other states."

Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) (TSXV: EMH) is a Licensed Producer under Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and produces and sells dried cannabis and cannabis oil for medical purposes. Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced that Northern Vine Canada Inc. (Northern Vine), a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerald, successfully completed the export of cannabis oil to the United States on May 25th, pursuant to an import permit from the federal U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The cannabidiol (CBD)-containing cannabis oil is expected to be used by a US biopharmaceutical company to develop its proprietary cannabinoid technology for medical research and development and for its manufacturing process for future clinical trials. In addition, Northern Vine successfully imported isolated cannabigerol (CBG) from Spain on June 27th for medical research and the development of plant-based therapies with unique cannabinoid profiles. Northern Vine also recently received cannabinoid oil imports for medical research and development from Netherlands and Colombia, and has been approved for cannabinoid oil imports from China. "We are one of the few companies with DEA approval in the United States allowing us to support  the development of novel cannabis-based medical-use drugs.  This is representative of our capabilities focused on international clinical development," said Chris Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald. "Importing unique isolates from sophisticated international producers for our own research and development  is also aligned with our focus of driving the development of novel cannabis-based products to improve lives around the world."

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